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ALEXANDER  VON  HUMBOLDT.                159'
and sublimest unity., of constant motion, and of the
immutable repose of eternal laws. He first brings us
to the right point of view for the contemplation of
this groat picture, by explaining the variety of its
pleasures,—ho facilitates the comprehension of natu-
ral laws by Ids experience, and then xinveils the great
picture in perspective., commencing with the most
distant nobulsa and revolving stars, and proceeding
gradually to the earth, its geography, its plants, its
animals, and its human inhabitants. Herein he shows
the intimate connexion of general truths and special
developments, with that geniality of scientific treat-
ment in the choice of matter, and in the form and
style of composition, which is so peculiarly his own;
at id then follow the incentives to natural studies,
among which he enumerates., especially., lively de-
scriptions of nattiral scenery, landscape painting,
intercourse with plants, and their taste-elevating cxxl-
tivation in conservatories.
The great truths explained in Kosmos are a legacy
to the German nation, and therefore this "biographical
monument is the most fitting place for explaining the
baĞiB of this scientific testament to the people in in-
toll igiblc language.
Nature, as Humboldt represents it, is as capable of
aftbrding the noblest pleasures as it is of inciting to
the highest intellectual development, and to an in-
sight into the proftrander duties of humanity. In
any intercourse with nature, as a well-understood and
explained world of phenomena, where every form and
motion are referred to a well-considered law, man
must become nobler and more self-conscious^ but
it is not indifferent by what means man attains to
a higher enjoyment of nature. "Humboldt says this
in the introduction, to Kosmos, and reveals the indi-
viduality of his own nature. He thinks that the
lowest kind of appreciation of nature is independent
of an insight into the effects of its powers, but
almost independent likewise of the pectdiar cha-
racteristics of the surrounding scenery. He says :*-—